If you had to vacate your home right this minute, would you be able grab everything you need in a matter of minutes? Probably not.
With extreme weather season upon us, many Americans are planning ahead in the event of a natural disaster. Devastating storms can hit with little to no warning, and many people just don’t take the advisories seriously when they hear them. If you’re not a prepper, but you’re considering making an emergency pack of items, we’ve got suggestions for the things you should consider adding to your hoard.
The website ready.gov suggests that you are prepared to leave in a moment’s notice, with three days worth of food, water and supplies for each member of your family. Your emergency pack should be in a location that makes it easy for you to “grab and go” if a dangerous situation should arise.
The first thing everyone will likely think of adding to their supplies is water, but there are several other things you may need that could you forget about in a pinch. See the items in the list at the top of this article to find out what you absolutely must have on hand if you’re forced to take shelter for any amount of time.
Get more information on staying safe during extreme weather on usedview.com.
You should have one gallon of water per person, per day for both drinking and sanitary purposes.
You can also purchase drinking cups with built-in water filtration systems so you can drink water without the fear of consuming bacteria.
Waterproof matches are a must for campers, and they should also be a part of your emergency kit.
If you want to save money and you’ve got some spare time to devote to a project, you can make your own waterproof matches by following these instructions.
First aid kit
You can buy a basic first aid kit in most stores for under $10, but you can also make your own to ensure you’ve got everything your family might need.
At the bare minimum, you should make sure it is stocked with band-aids, medical tape, gauze pads, a thermometer, pain relievers, sterile gloves, tweezers and antibiotic ointment.
Can opened and canned goods
What’s the point of having canned goods in your emergency pack if you cannot open them? Be sure you’ve got a hand-operated can opener stored as well.
You can also make sure you buy cans with pull tops for storage purposes.
Battery powered radio
In the event of a power outage, your cell phone battery won’t last for long, so forget about checking the news or weather using this method for an extended period of time.
Make sure you can keep up with the headlines by having a battery operated or solar powered radio readily available.
A flashlight (and batteries)
Always keep a flashlight and spare batteries in your emergency kit. Buy batteries with a long shelf life, and don’t store the batteries in the light until you’re ready to use it.
In the event of severe weather damage near you, first responders may not know where you are. A whistle is a great way to draw attention to your location without having to scream for help.
A one gallon bottle of bleach should be stored with your emergency kit. In the event of a water shortage, you can sanitize water by adding sixteen drops of bleach into a one gallon container.
Bleach can also be used to clean surfaces, just be sure to dilute it first. Do not buy bleach with added scents.
It’s a good idea to stock a few dust masks or cotton t-shirts in your emergency kit so you can place them over your mouth to prevent inhalation of airborne substances.
Masks are relatively inexpensive, and you’ve likely already got some t-shirts you’re not too attached to laying around the house.
Emergency food kits
If you want to make sure your family will be able to eat for an extended period of time, you can purchase up to a year’s supply of food. With an average shelf life of more than 20 years, the food is a good investment if you want to make sure you’ll never go hungry in an emergency.
The average kit can feed two people an 1800-calorie-per-day diet, and will cost around $2,000.